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Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Feb;144(4):538-50.

Preclinical pharmacology of lumiracoxib: a novel selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2.

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Arthritis Bone Metabolism at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, East Hanover, NJ, USA.


1. This manuscript presents the preclinical profile of lumiracoxib, a novel cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) selective inhibitor. 2. Lumiracoxib inhibited purified COX-1 and COX-2 with K(i) values of 3 and 0.06 microM, respectively. In cellular assays, lumiracoxib had an IC(50) of 0.14 microM in COX-2-expressing dermal fibroblasts, but caused no inhibition of COX-1 at concentrations up to 30 microM (HEK 293 cells transfected with human COX-1). 3. In a human whole blood assay, IC(50) values for lumiracoxib were 0.13 microM for COX-2 and 67 microM for COX-1 (COX-1/COX-2 selectivity ratio 515). 4. Lumiracoxib was rapidly absorbed following oral administration in rats with peak plasma levels being reached between 0.5 and 1 h. 5. Ex vivo, lumiracoxib inhibited COX-1-derived thromboxane B(2) (TxB(2)) generation with an ID(50) of 33 mg kg(-1), whereas COX-2-derived production of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) in the lipopolysaccharide-stimulated rat air pouch was inhibited with an ID(50) value of 0.24 mg kg(-1). 6. Efficacy of lumiracoxib in rat models of hyperalgesia, oedema, pyresis and arthritis was dose-dependent and similar to diclofenac. However, consistent with its low COX-1 inhibitory activity, lumiracoxib at a dose of 100 mg kg(-1) orally caused no ulcers and was significantly less ulcerogenic than diclofenac (P<0.05). 7. Lumiracoxib is a highly selective COX-2 inhibitor with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities comparable with diclofenac, the reference NSAID, but with much improved gastrointestinal safety.

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